ECTS Enhances Nepal-bound Rail Transshipment from India’s Kolkata and Haldia Ports

15 February 2019

Cargo containers using the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) bound for Nepal by rail was flagged off from the Kolkata Port on 15 February 2019. Mr. Vinit Kumar, Kolkata Port Trust Chairman, and Mr. Manish Chandra, Commissioner of Customs, Kolkata, led the ceremony. A pilot program using the ECTS modality is being implemented on rail routes originating from Kolkata and Haldia ports, to Birgunj via the Raxaul land customs station.

The ECTS improves the transshipment procedure between India and Nepal. It makes cargo safer through inbuilt locks that allow GPS tracking, and less costly, with a web-based system that makes it possible for traders to submit Customs declarations online. Digital submissions of transit declarations can save Nepalese importers up to $200 per container, estimated a report. Speaking to the Times of India, a senior customs department official of the Government of India, highlighted that the ECTS, with the Indian Customs EDI System, allows for automation and seamless landing, movement, and border crossing of Nepal-bound cargo.

The Office of the Commissioner of Customs (Port) of the Government of India announced the implementation of the ECTS on cargo transiting to Nepal starting 15 February from Kolkata and Haldia ports in a circular in January. This follows the application of ECTS on cargo transiting through Visakhapatnam port from August 2018. This initiative from the Government of India, supported by the Asian Development Bank under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation program, was a response to the Government of Nepal’s request for privileges to move cargo via Indian ports without having to seek permission and file transit declarations.  

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